Scott Draves is tapping the spare processing power in PCs for the sake of art.
Draves is the artist and computer programmer behind the 7-year-old “Electric Sheep” project, a free, downloadable application that combines art, interactivity and distributed computing. It’s a bit like the SETI@Home project, which harnesses PCs around the Internet to search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
But with Electric Sheep–the name, of course, is an homage to Philip K. Dick and his novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”–the extra processing power of all the networked PCs is being used to do the heavy computing needed to render the eye-popping screensavers that appear on the participating PCs’ screens. A high-definition, big-screen version of the project, “Dreams in High Fidelity,” will be shown in the art gallery at Siggraph, a computer graphics and interactive techniques conference that starts Sunday in Boston.